Going on holiday is one time of year that everyone looks forward to, but it is a time where we can run the risk of contracting salmonella. Salmonella is a type of infection carried by bacteria that can be found in water that has been contaminated, unpasteurised milk, eggs and even cheese. Unfortunately is it not uncommon to go on holiday and find yourself ill with food poisoning, which can ruin your break. To give yourself the best possible chance of avoiding salmonella you need to know more about it.
Firstly, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the symptoms of salmonella which include:
- A high fever with headache
- Watery diarrhoea and sickness
- Severe dehydration
- Cramps in the stomach due to the intestinal tract becoming inflamed
If you have any or all of these symptoms the chances are that you have salmonella. One of the problems with this, apart from feeling terrible, is that these symptoms can go away only to return a short time later. If this happens and the problem is not diagnosed it can lead to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or even Crohn’s disease. So if you do contract salmonella you will need to treat it as soon as possible to avoid any problems in the future. It is a good idea to eliminate various foods from your diet to prevent your intestines from becoming irritated which can make the symptoms continue for longer.
While on holiday there are things that you can do to minimise your chances of falling ill with salmonella, such as:
- Make sure that you wash your hands before eating as the bacteria can be present on your skin. Carrying antibacterial handwash is also a good idea.
- Never drink tap water, stick to bottled only. If you are in doubt about where table water came from while you are eating out – ask and don’t be afraid to ask for bottled.
- If you see that catering staff are not washing their hands when they come back from the toilet you must tell your rep as this can cause food poisoning to spread.
- Don’t even think about eating meat that is undercooked as this can be a breeding ground for the salmonella bacteria.
- If you like milk in drinks, make sure that it has been heated up until it is boiling hot, lukewarm drinks can harbour bacteria without you realising it.
- When you are eating outdoors wipe over the surface of the table with an antibacterial wipe as this will help to prevent illness, you should also do the same with your cutlery.
As the symptoms of salmonella can take from 6 – 48 hours to present themselves and from 2 – 7 days to clear up it is important that you follow these tips at all times while on holiday. If you do fall ill and are still unwell when you return home you must visit your GP who will be able to diagnose and treat you as needed.
You should be aware that salmonella illness abroad is prevalent in places such as Tunisia, Mexico, Egypt, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the Maldives. So if you are holidaying in one of these places you should familiarise yourself with the preventative tips that can stop you from being ill with salmonella.